My Perspectives: British and World Literature Grade 12, Volume One-page 292-Answers

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In the first scene of Act 2, Macbeth has a vision where a dagger points towards him from the place where King Duncan sleeps. These images remind him of the murder he decided to commit, and they haunt him as Lady Macbeth rings a bell to signal it is time.

The murder of the King is discovered by Macduff, who was sent to check on he King in the morning after the murder. he comes back to report to Macbeth the murder of King Duncan.

Ross and the Old Man in Act 2 Scene iv talk about the mysterious circumstances under which the King Duncan died. More than this, they discuss how natural (an unrelated) effects of the day are strange: how dark it is during the day, how Duncan’s horses died, and how an owl killed a hawk.

During Act 2, the murder of the King is the main event. Under the cover of night, Macbeth kills the king with the help of Lady Macbeth, whom drugs the guards and helps Macbeth clean up after the murder (she decides to frame the guards). During the murder, Macbeth hears people in the castle waken and has haunting thoughts about what he has done. In the morning, Macduff finds the king and wakes the castle, which leads Macbeth to act surprised and Lady Macbeth to faint. A porter makes jokes and Donalbain and Malcolm escape the castle as Macbeth gets crowned king, and he king is buried.

Research to Clarify

Example: What is a porter? In Act 2, Scene iii there is an extended dialogue with a porter, whom research reveals is similar to a janitor. This job still exists today in a similar way to the job performed by the porter in Macbeth’s castle.

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Research Question: What does the use of the word “Gorgon” mean in relation to how Macduff saw the King when he discovered him dead? Does Shakespeare allude to Greek Gods and goddesses frequently in his plays?

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